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Tag Archives: charging

Puck-Sized Device Charges Your Phone With The Heat In Your Coffee


A Stirling Engine is one of the world’s oldest, having been conceived in 1816 as a rival to the steam engine. It uses differences in temperature to drive a piston back and forth, turning a flywheel in the process. It’s this engine, albeit a tiny one, that sits inside the onE Puck you see above, and which allows you to charge your USB-connected device using nothing but the heat of your coffee cup. Or the cold of your iced tea. Just place any sufficiently cold or hot object on top of the onE Puck, and the Stirling engine will kick to life, driving a tiny generator. Obviously the hotter (or colder) the object, the more efficient the onE Puck becomes, but it’s designed to generate 5W of power at a combination of 1,000mA and 5Vdc. That’s standard for a phone charger, but these are clearly ideal conditions. It might generate this much at peak performance, when you’ve placed a piping hot drink, and then slowly lose its charging power. There’s an internal battery which accumulates charge, and delivers it in batches to your connected device, so it may appear as though it’s not charging at times, but it’ll kick in eventually.

It’s slow and steady, rather than fast and efficient, and is more of a novelty than anything else. But as a Kickstarter project, it’s been successful enough to raise $125,000 with 23 days to spare. If you want yours, you’ll have to pledge $115 and expect delivery in one year.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

Got A Family Full Of Devices To Charge? How’s A Super Charger Dock Grab Ya?

By David Ponce

There really aren’t many interesting things to say about the above item. It’s not an exciting one; it’s a useful one. It charges mobile devices. Up to 4 cellphones and a tablet. So you can have the kids come home from school, plug their phones in while they go off and get the house nice and dirty and come back later to a charged mobile. You can turn it into a little charging station, tucked away somewhere central. It’s got connectors for the iPhone as well as micro USB for a host of other devices.

It’s $99.

Not exciting. We know.

[ Product Page ]

CordLite Is A Touch-Sensitive iDevice Charging Cord

By David Ponce

Plugging your iDevice in for the night with no lights on in the room is easier said than done. And since a nightlight is not always an option, the CordLite presents a solution to one of life’s tiny annoyances. It’s a touch-sensitive charging cord for the iDevice that features some LEDs at the tip. When the cord is just lying around, nothing happens; it’s only once you pick it up that the circuit is activated and the light shines. The touch feature is conduction based, meaning you don’t have to squeeze, you just have to hold it.

It’s a nifty enough feature to warrant the $30 price on Kickstarter. They project is off to a decent start, with $29,000 raised on the $70,000 goal. Shipping should happen in September/October of this year.

[ Project Page ]

Tiny Fuel-Cell Can Keep Devices Charged For Weeks

By David Ponce

Batteries are great, but their own technology isn’t progressing as fast as the one they usually power. While smartphones are getting increasingly fast and small, batteries have pretty much plateaued. So that’s why we welcome solutions like the above pocket-sized fuel cell that is allegedly capable of charging an iPhone 10 to 14 times on a single cartridge of butane. We use the iPhone as a measuring stick here, but the device will use a USB connection so anything that uses that can be charged with it. The fact that it’s cartridge based means it can be taken with you in an airplane, so you might be able to make it through those long flights even if your seats don’t feature a plug. It’s made by Liliputian Systems but will be sold by Brookstone and labeled with that name. And we don’t really know for how much though we’re told they’ll be available “later this year.”

VIA [ CNet ]

Bracketron’s GreenZero Chargers Puts A Silver Bullet Through The Vampires

By David Ponce

Lord, that’s a terrible headline, but that’s the way I roll, baby! It looks like now that the term “vampire electronics” is gaining some traction in the minds of conscious gadget shoppers, more and more manufacturers are trying to make a buck off our fears of spending a few too many dollars on wasted electricity. Granted, it’s with little dollars that you make big ones, but I’m getting a little annoyed at the green veneer for profiteering. Anyway, back to the point, Bracketron’s GreenZero charger is pretty simple: it detects when your device is done charging and cuts off standby power. There. Money saved and now mother nature will hug you in your dreams.

It’s $23 and comes in iPhone and microUSB flavors. It’ll be unveiled at CES next week.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Cord-On-Board Case Solves Charging Issue Simply

By David Ponce

If you don’t mind adding a little bulk to your iPhone, the Cord-On-Board case from CaseInity could make it much easier to get through the day without running out of juice. It simply features a specially modified charging cord that snaps right into the case. It’s all out of sight until you need it. Of course, you’re going to need an actual USB port as there’s no room to carry the little square transformer but there are computers everywhere these days, so you’ll be fine. Just ask yourself: when was the last time you carried your charging cable everywhere with you? (Ok, mister backpack, we don’t mean you…) At $25 on pre-order on Kickstarter, the Cord-On-Board case looks simple and useful. But it’ll only be made if CaseInity reaches their $20,000 funding goal. And it’s for iPhone 4 and 4S only.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

The Duo And The Quattro Wall Outlets Integrate USB

By David Ponce

USB is quickly becoming a standard for charging electronics. But that interface is meant to be used on computers. So if you want to plug something into the mains, you need an adapter that accepts USB on one side and plugs into the outlet on the other. Looks at your iPhone and you’ll see what we mean. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Duo and the Quattro outlets from Current Werks simply integrate the USB plugs right into their design. The Quattro is a dedicated USB charging station that delivers 22 Watts of power and features a slider that completely eliminates “Vampire Power”. The Duo is a combination USB and electric plug, and this one feeds 16 Watts into the USB port.

Currently on pre-order on the Current Werks website, the Duo is $25 while the Quattro is $40.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Treehugger ]

Roll Up Travel Charger

By David Ponce

This roll-up travel charger comes with one wall plug and four different charging tips: iPhone®, Mini USB, Micro USB, Samsung. Samsung?… Anyway, yes you can recharge up to four gadgets at once and although it looks like brown leather, it’s actually pleather. This does take away a little from its rugged Indiana Jones-y vibe but we don’t care because we won’t be buying this. We’ve been trying to determine the odds of ever being in a situation where four different devices with four different connector types need to be recharged simultaneously and the numbers don’t look good. Then again, we failed math so don’t take our word for it.

It’s $50.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Wired’s Gadget Lab ]

Curly iDevice Charging Cable: Someone Had To Think Of It

By David Ponce

It’s definitely a first world problem: being forced into an uncomfortable reading position on your bed due to your iPhone’s charging cable being too short. Pedestrian as it is, it’s a small problem that can easily be solved with the purchase of this $15 Curly Cable, which extends from 8 inches to 70 inches (20cm to 180cm).

The cable is currently on Kickstarter and had easily passed its funding threshold. And the $15 price will bump up to $30 if you wait to purchase this elsewhere.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]